Table of Contents

DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Deals with the prospect of doing a little research into the ‘history’ of vacuum-tube based electronics, as well as reading up on any ‘related’ topic; e.g. woodworking, machine shop practice, etc., and get a ‘feel’ of how and why things are done the way they are done. Find yourself one old-timer in your area that was involved in Radio/TV/Audio during the ‘golden years’ of tube technology. Discover that economics played the biggest role in determining how you designed, manufactured, and promoted your product. Vintage Advertising features a look at the phenomenon of home study courses in Electronics. Read more

ELECTRONIC PARTS: Deals with parts selection, including resistors, capacitors, transformers. Vintage Advertising features a look at advertising for resistors, capacitors, transformers, and tubes. REVELATIONS? looks at capacitors and transformers. Also a look at the Canadian tube industry with a vintage tube retail price list! Read more

SPEAKERS: Straight talk about speakers, with a very basic theory primer. Also the crudest synopsis of how speaker boxes have an affect on your tone. Vintage Advertising features speaker advertising, the Yamaha ‘Natural’, and other unique speaker designs.Read more

BIASING: Deals with the myths and hype surrounding the biasing of your output tubes. Absolutely required reading, even for the engineers out there! Read more

VINTAGE AMPLIFIER MYTHS AND LEGENDS: Looks at the hype and folklore surrounding a few popular vintage amplifiers. A quick overview of the Tweed Bassman, Vox AC30, and Marshall, amplifiers in general are also included. And, if you look hard enough, ‘secret’ links take to to a treasure trove of Fender Bassman ‘mods’, as well as Marshall JCM800 mods to turn this ubiquitous ‘head’ into a fire-breathing beast. Read more 

GUITARS ETC: Deals with the subtle effects that your guitar and all the related paraphernalia makes in your final tone. Should be most helpful to those who can’t quite ‘cop the tone’ from their favorite records. Read more

MODS and ODDS: deals with a typical Fender amplifier circuit, one stage at a time, and offers some simple modification advice that may bring your amplifier back to life! Read more

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: is a collection of tools and test equipment that makes my life a lot easier. If you are serious about being a tube technician, you should have these tools at your disposal. Vintage Advertising looks at one tool necessary for those either looking to add extra tubes to their amplifier, or anyone who likes to build a chassis from ‘scratch’.Read more

THE EXPERIMENTER’S CHASSIS: deals with a great idea I finally implemented. This lets me try out any circuit I think of without butchering a vintage amplifier in the name of science! Read more

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Is a gathering of ‘random thoughts’, or ‘questions’ that don’t have enough ‘legs’ on their own to warrant an entire ‘Lesson’. Together with enough alcohol, these thoughts can lead to some lively discussions. Or, maybe not. Read more

MADE IN CANADA: Some Vintage Advertising and a little history of tube guitar amplifier manufacturing in Canada.Read more

CLASSIC ARTICLES: Scanned articles that made a difference to my education about tube guitar amplifiers, and electronics in general. The old-timers were a little more savvy than I gave them credit for! Also included are a few ‘headers’ from articles that for various reasons didn’t make the final edit to this ‘Lesson’. Read more

VINTAGE TUBE BOXES: Looks at my own modest collection (over 5 dozen!) of classic tube boxes more so than the tubes themselves. I’ve always been a sucker for vintage advertising, and these tube boxes gave me a glimpse into a time when movies cost a nickel and new 6L6’s were $1.60! Read more

THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO OSCILLOSCOPES: I’ll give you a Reader’s Digest version of what an oscilloscope is, how an oscilloscope works, and how to select the right oscilloscope for your bench. But didn’t stop there. I will demonstrate a select group of oscilloscopes used to bias up an even smaller set of tube guitar amplifiers? Read more 

THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO TUBE TESTERS: was added because I believe The Tube Tester is a very misunderstood and misused piece of test equipment. Few of us understand what a tube tester can and (more importantly) cannot do. There are links to separate pages featuring some of the more popular brands of tube testers, as well as advertising pages for Heathkit, Hickok, and Sencore.Read more

THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO VTVMS: was added because I feel it is a sadly neglected and misunderstood piece of test equipment. I haven’t found any reference to using a VTVM in any ‘guru’ books or videos. Perhaps the biggest reason is very few VTVM’s can measure plate current, and we all know the love affair the typical guru has with plate current. Vintage Advertising looks at a selection of classic VTVM’s from Heathkit, Hickok, Knight, and Superior.Read more

LINKS: should be self-explanatory. For the most part, I have personally dealt with these people, and have absolutely no complaints. For some, I haven’t had personal experience with them, but their web site just looks so well planned and organized that I will assume that is how they conduct business. To help build this ‘resource’ into something useful, send me your recommended and ‘not so’ recommended links and I’ll publish as many as I can.Read more

CLOSING THOUGHTS: Is my closing thoughts on this whole series of ‘Lessons’. Read more

tubemanMeet Tuby the Tubeman: he will be following you on your journey.